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SA SOCCER NEWS
Determined Celtic beat Swallows 31/10/04
Bloemfontein Celtic gained some revenge for their Coca-Cola Cup loss to Moroka Swallows when they beat the Birds in a Castle Premiership match played at the VodaCom Stadium on Sunday.

The home side had the better of the early exchanges, earning a quick succession of corners and throw-ins down the right flank in the opening minutes.

The first two chances of the game also fell to Celtic - in the 11th minute Siyabonga Nkosi's low shot was well saved by Swallows keeper Conrad Hendricks, while in the 25th minute Jorry Merahe came close with a spectacular bicycle kick.

In the 26th minute Dennis Lota came close to scoring for the Dube Birds when his scissors kick at the near post was blocked by a Celtic defender on the goal line.

Phunye Sele Sele's hard work payed dividends, when in the 33rd minute, they took the lead following a lapse in concentration in the visitor's defence - Moses Spandeel was on hand to take the ball to the by-line and pull it back into the box, where Siyabonga Nkosi blasted the ball into the net with a first time shot.

However, the large passionate home fans were soon shocked into silence, when, only  a minute later, the Birds found an equaliser after Lungisani Ndlela beat home keeper Simon Gopane to the ball and headed it across the box. With the ball going wide of goal, Cecil Oerson managed to scramble it back across the goal mouth, where Ndlela was on hand to help it over the line.

The team's went into the break level at one goal a piece.

The second half was a tightly contested affair, with chances few and far between.

Swallows came close in the 47th minute when Ndlela's header was cleared off the line by Merahe.

In the 59th minute Warren Lewis did well to snuff out the danger of Moses Spandeel after Ivan Winstanley had slipped up in defence.

Then, in the 73rd minute Phunye Sele Sele scored what turned out to be the winning goal when Lehlohonolo Seema played a great one-two with Spandeel, before chipping the ball over Hendricks' head, albeit with the aid of a deflection by a Swallows defender.

In the 88th minute Celtic were given a chance to wrap up the match after they were awarded a penalty following Lewis' tackle from behind on Buitemelo Moleyane.

Nkosi stepped up to take the kick in the hope of securing his brace, but Hendricks was up to the challenge, making a fine diving save to his left, and also keeping out the follow up effort.

Swallows had a half-chance to grab an equaliser in the 90th minute, but substitute Shaun Permall was not able to get enough power on his shot from the right hand side of the box.

The whistle blew shortly afterwards, handing the Free State team only their second win of the season. Swallows remain thied on the Castle Premiership table, after suffering their second loss of the season.

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